Ray-Ban is a brand of luxury sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb. The brand is known for its Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Group, for a reported US $640 million.[1]

Founded1936; 85 years ago (1936)
in Rochester, New York,
United States
Area served
Key people
Leonardo Del Vecchio
OwnersLuxottica Group


In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky.[2][3][4]

Specifically, MacCready was concerned about how pilots' goggles would fog up, greatly reducing visibility at high altitude.[5] The prototype, created in 1936 and known as "Anti-Glare", had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. The name "Ray-Ban" was hence derived from the ability of these glasses to limit the ingress of either ultra-violet or infra-red rays of light. [6] Impact-resistant lenses were added in 1938.[7] The sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator.[5] According to the BBC, the glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.”[5]

In 1999, the Global Eyewear Division of Bausch & Lomb, including Ray-Ban was acquired by Luxottica Group for US$640 million.[1]

In 2021, Ray-Ban commercialized a model of smart glasses that they developed with Facebook Reality Labs called Ray-Ban Stories. [8][9]

Sunglasses linesEdit

Ray-Ban's most popular sunglasses are the Wayfarer and Aviator models.[5][10][11] During the 1950s, Ray-Ban released the Echelon (Caravan), which had a squarer frame. In 1965, the Olympian I and II were introduced; they became popular when Peter Fonda wore them in the 1969 film Easy Rider.[12] The company has also produced special edition lines, such as The General in 1987, bearing similarity to the original aviators worn by General Douglas MacArthur during the Second World War.[7] In the 1980s the Ray-Ban Clubmaster was added to the model line.[13] The Clubmaster has a browline frame and went on to become the third best selling sunglasses style of the 1980s, behind the Wayfarer and Aviator.[14]



  1. ^ a b "Company News: Bausch & Lomb Selling Sunglass Business to Luxottica". NY Times. April 29, 1999. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  2. ^ Pagan Kennedy (3 August 2012). "Who Made Those Aviator Sunglasses?". New York Times. Archived from the original on 21 August 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2017. And so Macready began working with Bausch & Lomb to design goggles especially suited to protect against the dazzle in the stratosphere. “My dad gave Bausch & Lomb the original shape, tint and fit” of aviator lenses, Wallace said.
  3. ^ "The best ever ray-bans".
  4. ^ "You can thank the US military for the world's most famous sunglasses". Business Insider France (in French). Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  5. ^ a b c d Foreman, Katya. "The enduring appeal of aviator sunglasses".
  6. ^ "What is the name origin of the Ray-Ban brand?". High Names. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  7. ^ a b "Fashion Notes". 24 May 1987. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ https://7news.com.au/technology/facebook-and-ray-ban-roll-out-449-smart-glasses-that-film-and-photograph-what-you-look-at-c-3923990
  10. ^ Williamson, Charlote; Davis (1 September 2007). 101 Things to Buy Before You Die. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 9781845378851 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Shilling, Donovan A. (1 January 2011). A Photographic History of Bausch + Lomb. Pancoast Publishing. ISBN 9780983849605 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Mad Men Don Draper Meets Peter Fonda in Easy Rider (1969)". 14 November 2014.
  14. ^ Fassel, Preston. "Hindsight is 20/20: The Browline". The Optician's Handbook. Retrieved 2013-06-10.

External linksEdit